Dimes, Nickels & Half Dollars

Collecting United States Dimes, Nickels, & Half Dollar Coins

A Brief History of the United States Dime

The United States Dime has a rich history and has a wide variety of options for all coin collectors, regardless of their budget. The oldest issue is known as the Draped Bust dime. More common dimes are the Mercury dime and the Roosevelt Dime.

Originally spelled “disme”, the dime was created by the United States Mint in 1792 and had a silver value 1/10th that of a United States dollar. The silver value of dimes was a constant up to 1964. After this year, all silver was taken out and replaced with copper and nickel.

A Brief History of the United States Nickel

Before the nickel existed, the United States relied on the half dime, which was composed of silver. However, the American Civil War caused hard economic times which led to Americans hoarding gold and silver. This led to the creation of a five-cent piece consisting of base metal. The first year of the nickel was 1866 and featured a shield design. Other designs of the nickel include the liberty “V” nickel, the buffalo nickel, and the current Jefferson nickel. There are nickels available for any budget and they are a great starting point for someone looking to get into coin collecting.

A Brief History of the United States Half Dollar

The United States Half Dollar Coin, short for 50-cent piece, is the largest United States circulating coin currently produced in both size and weight. Although the half dollar is currently circulating, it is not heavily used in everyday commerce.

The most common half dollar that people are familiar with is the Kennedy Half Dollar. This coin was released in 1964 to commemorate the tragic death of the former president, John F. Kennedy. There were several other designs for the United States Half Dollar coin before the Kennedy half dollar. These include the Flowing Hair, Draped Bust, Capped Bust, Seated Liberty, Barber, Walking Liberty, and Franklin Half Dollars. All of these contained 90% silver except for 40% silver Kennedy half dollars from 1965-1970, and the base metal Kennedy half dollars that are still created today.


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